Schools including colleges and stores across the country are closed, and young people of all ages are being forced to learn how to cope in social and physical isolation. Until recently, many youth had enjoyed regular face-to-face meetings with their mentors who offered guidance, support, life lessons and hope.

The Novel Coronavirus has changed our world. Families are experiencing job loss and the overall economic impact along with fear and often depression. The current crisis means that now, more than ever we have a responsibility to ensure that the lives of our young people are not disrupted whenever possible and mentors stand by them.

Informal and formal mentors should consider this period of isolation as an opportunity to use the many online platforms available to reach out to their mentees. Technology implemented for e-mentoring sessions include email, chats, text messages, telephone, snail mail and video platforms such as FaceTime, ZOOM or Google Hangouts. Mentors involved with established programs should check with their mentoring coordinator for e-mentoring policies and procedures that have been put in place. It is not a matter of if or when but how to provide a small yet critical normalcy in the lives of our precious young people. Stay home, stay safe and stay connected!

Dr. Susan G Weinberger